How to gain multiple sources of income next year

Diversifying one's income streams is key but increasing one's knowledge base is also important

Pictures Of The Year 2019: The Other Half. Shoppers pass colorful store-front design on the front of a Louis Vuitton store, operated by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, on New Bond Street in Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. Street protests, the changing climate and access to new technology have one crucial underlying theme in common: disparity. In most places in the world, the juxtaposition of rich and poor remains striking. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg
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Samuel Walton, the son of Sam Walton, founder of the biggest US grocer Walmart, once said: "I learnt from my dad that change and experimentation are constants and important. You have to keep trying new things." 

As we approach the end of 2019, resolutions and change as always are topics of discussion, ranging from weight loss to increasing incomes.

For my millennial generation – born between 1980 and 1996 – money is arguably a great priority. Unlike their parents, many millennials follow non-conventional career paths such as freelancing, social-media influencing and digital creation. A 2018 survey by American financial services company TD Ameritrade, found that 53 per cent of millennials expect to become millionaires at some stage in their lives. A nine-to-five job, especially a well-paying one, may help them achieve this target, but more often than not, it takes more effort than that.

Heeding the advice of self-made millionaires and authors who have written about them is insightful. While this does not necessarily guarantee you will become ultra-wealthy overnight, it certainly will set you in the right direction to achieve that.

Of the many lessons my grandmother gave me, the wisest is to never place all my eggs in one basket. She always depended on multiple sources of income, mixing it up between real estate, stock market investments and trade. Not only did that lead her to live a comfortable life, it also made it exciting.

In the book Rich Habits, Poor Habits, co-author Michael Yardney discusses how he helped people become millionaires by creating multiple sources of income. Some of his tips include saving 10 to 20 per cent of our net income every year, and investing part of our savings in a small side business that will generate extra income for us. Another way of doing that is to invest your money with a partner in a business and you could take on a more passive role. American actor Ashton Kutcher dramatically multiplied his wealth over the years by investing early in businesses such as Uber, Airbnb and Flexport.

While it is good to invest money back into your business, or in developing new ones, it is equally important to invest in expanding your knowledge and learning new ways of doing things. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is known for being a voracious reader, reading 50 books a year.

Television personality Oprah Winfrey, in her book What I know for sure, said: "What I love most about reading  It gives you the ability to reach higher ground. A world of possibilities awaits you. Keep turning the page."

It's no coincidence that many billionaires enjoy reading. In his book How Rich People Think, American self-made millionaire Steve Siebold says a library is one of the first things you will notice in a wealthy person's home. "One of the first things you'll see is an extensive library of books they've used to educate themselves on how to become more successful."

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg challenged himself in 2015 to read two books per month. According to his “Year of Book” page on Facebook, he explored topics from different genres. “Reading has given me more perspective on a number of topics – from science to religion, from poverty to prosperity, from health to energy to social justice, from political philosophy to foreign policy, and from history to futuristic fiction,” he wrote.

If you wish to increase your income by Dh200,000 per year, then aim for Dh1 million. By setting a higher target, I found it puts off the pressure, and makes the original target more achievable.

Throughout the years, I discovered in many cases we unintentionally do not give 100 per cent towards effort and dedication to achieve a goal, maybe just 70 per cent. Once you discipline yourself and give it your all, you would be surprised at the results. The world has so much to offer and having the right mindset can make a difference.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur, who manages her marketing and communications company in Abu Dhabi